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From the Crow's Nest: Miami C Zack Collins

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Collins has a habit of making things go BOOM

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

We're almost exactly a month away from the 2016 MLB Draft, meaning it will soon be time for this series to go into overdrive. For now, we'll be sticking with the one spotlight a week format, and this week that spotlight falls upon Zack Collins, a catcher out of the University of Miami who is considered to be one of the best college hitters in the country, if not the best.

At A Glance

Name

Zack Collins

Position

Catcher

Bats/Throws

L/R

School (year)

Miami (jr)

Ht ; Wt

6’2 ; 210 lbs

Born

02/06/1995

MLB.com prospect rank

20th

BA prospect rank

15th

Previously drafted?

2013 - 27th rd - CIN

(Note: I try to use the most recent rankings from MLB.com and BA. If there is an overlap or repeat in ranking position with other posts, it is due to new rankings coming out)

The Rundown

During his three years at Miami, Collins has posted a line of .322/.469/.598 and a .276 ISO. He has been especially unfair this season, slashing .402/.572/.695 through 40 games. I've checked these numbers numerous times and there aren't any typos. .402/.572/.695. .402/.572/.695. I've never made the same mistake three times, so you can trust me here. Collins' absurd stretch at the plate has led to a significant increase in draft stock, as he's improved from a likely first-round draft pick to a likely top-fifteen overall draft pick.

Collins has a smooth, powerful swing and is skilled at using his whole body to generate pop. Most importantly, it's a very balanced swing as opposed to the violent, twisting concerto put forth by many young power hitters. Sure, his biggest selling point is the ridiculous power, but the ridiculous power isn't his only selling point. As you can imagine, someone with his type of pop will be pitched around, and Collins has been more than patient in his response to the opposition's approach. He's drawn 49 free passes while striking out just 25 times in 40 games this season. He's a very skilled hitter in every way.

Defensively, he's improved significantly as a catcher since coming to Miami, but he's still no guarantee to be a major league catcher. Baseball America explains:

While Collins is not a plus defender, his progress is encouraging, and even if teams believe he’s a below-average defender, he’s made more evaluators believe that he can be a catcher.

"His defense is a 40 (on the 20-80 scouting scale), but when you have that kind of offensive output, he’s still extremely valuable," an official with an American League club said.

Should catching not work out for Collins, first base (or eventually DH) would be the likely fallback.

Previous From the Crow's Nest prospects:

Jordan Sheffield - RHP - Vanderbilt

Will Benson - OF/1B - The Westminster Schools

Buddy Reed - OF - Florida

Bryan Reynolds - OF - Vanderbilt

Connor Jones - RHP - Virginia